OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Klay Thompson scored the most points in a quarter in NBA history, a 37-point third period that powered the Golden State Warriors to a 126-101 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.
Thompson, who finished with a career-high 52 points, pleased the announced sellout crowd of 19,596 at rowdy Oracle Arena with a performance that will long be remembered in the basketball-loving Bay Area. The All-Star hopeful made all 13 shots, including a league-record nine from 3-point range, and hit both of his free throws during a 12-minute span.
His streaky shooting touch helped the Warriors (35-6) erase a sloppy showing for its franchise-best 18th consecutive home victory. Golden State became the 10th NBA team to win at least 35 games halfway through a season.
The last player to score at least that many points in a quarter was Carmelo Anthony with 33 in 2008 while with Denver. Joe Johnson held the previous mark for most 3s in a quarter, hitting eight for Brooklyn in 2013.
A day after backcourt teammate Stephen Curry received the most votes for the All-Star game and coach Steve Kerr learned he would lead the Western Conference in the showcase game, Thompson let the world know he expects to be right next to them at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 15.
Thompson stunned Sacramento — and just about everyone in the building — with a performance unlike any other in league lore. He hit one I-can’t-believe-he-just-made-that basket after another — including a 28-footer — and added an alley-oop from Curry on the fastbreak just for good measure.
Thompson seemed to love every minute of it, flapping his hands to the crowd every time down court. At one point during a timeout, he sat on the bench with his hands over his head, staring at the scoreboard in disbelief.
Thompson scored 19 consecutive points during one scintillating stretch, which ended with him zipping a left-handed pass to Draymond Green for a layup. Thompson left to a standing ovation with 9:28 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Thompson finished 16 of 25 from the floor and 11 of 15 from long range.
Thompson’s touch made sure the Warriors matched the franchise’s highest win total before the All-Star game. The defending champion 1975-76 Warriors went 35-13 before the break and finished with a team-best record 59-23.
DeMarcus Cousins had 28 points and 11 rebounds in Sacramento’s sixth straight loss. Rudy Gay also was ejected in the second quarter, leaving the Kings (16-27) short-handed.
Golden State started with a flurry from long range, going on a 22-2 run in the first six minutes to build an 18-point lead. Kerr dug deep into his bench early, and with second-unit anchor Andre Iguodala getting the night off to rest, the Warriors had little punch off the bench.
Sacramento sliced the deficit to just three early in the second quarter, trailed only 56-51 at the half and briefly took the lead early in the third quarter until Thompson took over.
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